Jamie Drake for Theodore Alexander launched at the April High Point Market. Interiors publication Home Accents Today recently interviewed Jamie Drake on his career, inspirations and dreams for the future. To read the entire article go the Home Accents Today website.
In the 35 years since launching New York-based Drake Design Associates, Jamie Drake has decorated some of the country’s most glamorous and distinctive interiors, created rooms for the most prestigious show houses in the industry, and had his work published in countless design and shelter magazines.
Notable residential projects include a Los Angeles showplace for Madonna, apartments in the Dakota and other historic New York landmark buildings, and multiple projects for Drake’s longtime client Michael Bloomberg, including the renovation of Gracie Mansion, the mayor’s ceremonial residence. Equally notable is Drake’s new 3,000-sq.-ft. Chelsea apartment, complete with its own car elevator and sky garage, the latter lit with a sculptural chandelier designed by Ted Abramczyk for Ralph Pucci.
This month marks the debut of the Jamie Drake for Theodore Alexander furniture collection, the initial introduction which recently launched at the spring High Point Market. Home Accents Today first interviewed Drake in 2008
for a luxury feature in sister publication Relish
. A few weeks ago, we invited the designer to share a few thoughts on the new collection, high design, and the post-recession luxury market.
“Lotus occasional table of sand cast polished brass from the Jamie Drake for Theodore Alexander Collection.”
What does the word “luxury” mean today?
Stress-free, relaxed living is the ultimate in luxury today. That equates to homes tailored to the exacting needs of my clients’ discerning eyes and busy lives. Rooms furnished with pieces that delight the inhabitant and their guests, and sit right, store right and work right … just for them.
What are today’s luxury commodities?
The luxury commodity of today isn’t that much different in essence than it has been for centuries. In the 18th century, one would travel by exquisite coach, hand-carved and gilded; while today, one cruises the road in a Maserati, Mercedes or Rolls Royce. A chaste gold pocket watch of the past is today a Patek Philippe. For generations, an embellished desk of magnificent craftsmanship would be the place to pay bills or write a love note. Likewise, the current place to work on your laptop would be a surface, but less fussy in detail, allowing the sublime materials to shine.
2013 Heart’s Designer
What’s your favorite tradeshow, market or fair to shop for high design?
The world has so many, but last year I found the PAD Fair and Masterpiece in London both inspiring and shoppable.
What can you tell us about the Jamie Drake for Theodore Alexander Collection?
The initial introduction includes almost 50 pieces of upholstery and case goods. The designs are typical of the pieces I have been designing and buying for my private clients over the last 35 years: bold and clean-lined, yet rich. The collection is very sophisticated – contemporary but not minimal – just like the interiors I design today.
“Oriel console, doubled macassar and gold leaf table inspired by an ogee-shaped console in a Parisian shop. Jamie Drake for Theodore Alexander.”
What one piece in the new collection are you most excited about?
I love all my new children, but I’m especially excited by the Yoke bed, with its simple-yet-inviting, cushioned, upholstered headboard. It’s crowned by a sensuous curving yoke wrapped in mother-of-pearl and capped with polished brass. The upholstered base has glistening mother-of-pearl legs.
Describe the Drake Design residential client:
Bold, sophisticated, informed and witty. In their late 20s or late 70s, and we have both and in between. They are interested or involved in the arts, even if they work in finance or technology. They like things that are different and surprising, but insist upon comfort, function and custom solutions.
If I were redecorating a new home on a limited budget, completely from scratch with no furnishings, what should I budget the most dollars for – furniture or accessories?
The furniture first. The accessories can always come later, along with a search of the back of your kitchen cabinets or closets. A plain but well-shaped cereal bowl – with Gummy Bears to pick up a pillow’s accent colors – might just be the perfect quick fix on an empty end table.
If Jamie Drake were unavailable, what interior designer would you most like to have design your next residence?
There are so many fantastic designers in the world: Jacques Grange, Jay Jeffers, Thierry Despont, Peter Marino, Rafael de Cardenas, Bunny Williams… I would probably be very happy in any of their creations. Maybe I’ll buy six houses and let each do one! But seriously, the list could go on and on. I’m awed by talent and find each unique point-of-view fascinating.
Anything else you’d like to tell the world about Jamie Drake or Drake Design Associates?
Someday I hope to check into a Jamie Drake designed hotel!